A plan to rid the City of Trail of its pigeon population has been grounded.
On Monday night, council passed a motion to defer any action on pigeon control measures,citing budgetary deficiency and significant cost associated with its latest proposal.
David Perehudoff, chief administrative officer, noted that there was very little interest in the city’s latest request for proposal for pigeon control from a qualified pest control service.
Only one proposal was submitted, and at a cost of $42,000, the latest option proved too costly, exceeding the 2013 budget by $17,000.
West Kootenay Pest Control (WKPC) from Trail submitted a plan that recommended live trapping and euthanasia.
WKPC also recommended that all the openings on the Victoria Street Bridge arches be closed using netting to prevent pigeon nesting.
Although the Ministry of Transportation covered some of the openings, the majority remain open.
Perehudoff said that this cost could be substantial and was not included within the WKPC proposal.
He explained that even if the proposal was completed for the price quoted, the pigeon population would continue to pose an ongoing issue.
“It is important to note that while they (WKPC) are suggesting they can do this for one year, the population will continue to grow.
“Whereby the city will have to continue to retain them for a number of years.”
Further, Warren Proulx, engineering manager for the city said in a letter to the city that WKPC estimated a two month time-line would reduce the pigeon population, but the solution would only be temporary.
“Elimination of 100 per cent of the pigeons may be impossible and can only work if the bridge openings are netted and our citizens refrain from feeding the pigeons,” explained Proulx.
Coun. Sean Mackinlay said that he is happy to see the pigeon issue put on the back burner for the year.
“In my mind this has been a colossal waste of staff time.”
However, not all council agreed with the deferral.
“We are starting our Trail market on June 7 on the esplanade,” said Coun. Eleanor Gattafoni-Robinson.
“So we will be testing the waters on how many pigeons will be there,” she said.
“Because you have to be there to see them, not one or two, there is many.”